Potential health risks related to floods
DR6YDEN, ONTARIO ~~~~~ June 5, 2022 (LSNews) The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry – Dryden District is advising area residents that a Flood Watch is in effect in the district until Friday, June 10, 2022.
Residents in the Wabigoon, Eagle and Forest Lake watersheds, Agimac Lake Watershed and surrounding areas throughout the district should exercise extreme caution around less travelled roads, bridges, water-crossings, lakes, rivers, and areas of high runoff or erosion potential. Although water levels have receded in some areas, they remain extremely high. Precipitation will continue to have an impact on water levels and will slow the rate of recession.
The ministry is closely monitoring the weather and developing watershed conditions. Further updates will be issued as appropriate.
Description of Current ConditionsSignificant rainfall over recent weeks, combined with melting snow, have resulted in high stream and lake levels. Water levels across the district are at maximum outflows. With received and forecasted precipitation, the water levels could take longer to recede.
- WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that high flows, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous for such users as boaters, anglers and swimmers but flooding is not expected.
- WATERSHED CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecasts calling for heavy rain, snow melt, high winds or other conditions
- SHORELINE CONDITIONS STATEMENT – WATER SAFETY: indicates that along the Great Lakes shorelines high water, melting ice or other factors could be dangerous but flooding is not expected.
- SHORELINE CONDITIONS STATEMENT – FLOOD OUTLOOK: gives early notice of the potential for flooding along the Great Lakes shorelines based on weather and lake conditions, and water safety information.
- FLOOD WATCH: potential for flooding exists within specific watercourses and municipalities.FLOOD WARNING: flooding is imminent or occurring within specific watercourses and municipalities.
Potential health risks related to floods
Much of our region is experiencing ongoing flooding due to the rapid snow melt and heavy rainfall. Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) reminds the public that with floods, come potential health risks to those impacted by flood water. Some of those risks include:
- Flood waters can contain pollutants such as agricultural waste, chemicals, or raw sewage. Visit Health Canada’s Floods and Your Health webpage for information about the potential dangers of flood water.
- Where flood waters impact buildings, prolonged wet or damp conditions can cause mould growth.
- People who are sensitive to mould may experience allergic reactions such as asthma, and other allergy-type symptoms. Chronic or severe exposure to mould can cause symptoms like eye, skin, nose and throat irritation, headaches, poor concentration, and fatigue.
- For general information about mould and cleaning up mould, visit Health Canada’s webpage on Mould.
- Flood waters can also impact private drinking water wells. If a well has flood water pooling around or over it, there may be contamination of the ground water in the well. In this case:
- Use a different source of water for drinking, preparing food, and brushing teeth; or bring water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute before using. Please visit our Boil Water Advisories webpage for more information.
- When the flood waters recede, take a well water sample to make sure that your water is ok to drink again. Wells that have been contaminated with flood water may require disinfection before they can be safely used.
- Food that has been in contact with flood waters or has been stored in basements or other areas that have been flooded should be discarded, except for undamaged canned goods.
- Labels from undamaged cans should be removed, and wash and disinfect the cans before they are opened.
- Structural and electrical safety concerns can also exist when dealing with flood conditions. Please visit Canada’s After a Flood webpage for more information about safely re-entering your home and cleaning up after a flood.
If you have questions about flood-related health risks, please contact Northwestern Health Unit and ask to speak with a public health inspector.
Photo by Jess Miller
Water starting to come on the highway
502 at Crowe Rock Landing road
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